Is Neelie Kroes Implicitly Calling For Your Assistance For Copyright Reform?
from the you-go-girl dept
Neelie Kroes, the Vice President of the European Commission and politician in charge of the Digital Agenda, announced the impressive ambitions of the EU to support the ongoing technology revolution in a recent speech in Brussels. Repeatedly, she calls for radical reform of policy and public R&D investment. The speech shows once again that she and her team really understand the current transformation to a networked economy, which brings about “open, agile and collaborative” innovation and research. Kroes wants to accelerate and boost the potential of technology innovation by creating space for “disruptive ideas”. A few snippets:
“I want to try out support for truly open, disruptive innovation in ICT.”
“[…] remember that great innovation isn't about keeping the status quo: it's about challenging it. It's radical, disruptive, and sometimes non-linear – especially for emerging technologies. So let's make space for that in Horizon 2020.”
“We must update our policies and practices for the digital world”
How refreshing is that from a senior government official? Of course, she names and shames some barriers, which she intends to bring down. Notably, she mentions the policy incoherence of EU copyright, where the status quo strangles innovation (if you follow her implied logic from the speech). This is not the first time she mentions that copyright is doing more harm than good. She has criticized the system again and again. And again just the other day. And several more times in unofficial speeches.
It must now be getting obvious — even for the layman — that the copyright system is one of the biggest inhibitors of Mrs. Kroes’ ambitious and forward-looking agenda for positive technological change. Too bad the copyright office of the EU is not in her department, but in the department run by Mr. Barnier, who seems a little more hesitant to enact change. Perhaps it’s because he has a top former IFPI lobbyist working for him? Perhaps Kroes’ frequent mentioning of copyright is an implied call for assistance to her audiences to help change Mr. Barnier’s mind.
I wonder how long it will take for civil society organizations to pick up on these hints. The current public interest in copyright policy after ACTA, SOPA and PIPA can now be called into action again to send a batch of friendly notes to Mr. Barnier, possibly with a few quotes from Mrs. Kroes’ speeches, urging him to develop new copyright legislation which should be discussed in open and transparent forums sooner rather than later. It would be a shame to let governments postpone legislative action until the public interest from the internet freedom movements subsides.